Kaduna – A plant scientist, Dr Margret Katung, on Wednesday urged farmers to apply adequate fertilisers in pepper farms to improve its yield.
Delivering a paper on “Pepper Management and Nutrient Management” at the pre-season training for extension workers in Kaduna, Katung also advised rural farmers to discard the notion that the crop required little or no fertilizer.
She said that such idea was capable of making “pepper producers to end up losing their investment’’.
Katung said that between 10,000 and 20,000 hectares of land was being cultivated with pepper in the country annually, adding that pepper formed about 40 per cent of the vegetables consumed in the country annually.
She argued that a hectare of pepper that received adequate nutrient through the application of both organic and inorganic fertilisers could produce 10 tonnes to 15 tonnes of pepper and two tonnes to three tonnes of dry pepper.
She said that apart from fertiliser, other practice such as studying the soil type, climate and varieties of the crop were important in determining its yield.
Katung, however, cautioned farmers on the excessive use of fertilisers to avoid a reduction in the yield of such crop.
In his speech, the Director of Agricultural Services in the state, Mr Daniel Jacob, called for increased funding of research and extension services by the government to enhance their performance.
He urged the participants to extend the knowledge acquired at the training to the end users to put it into reality for greater yield. (NAN)